AKA: Rick goes to extreme lengths to avoid family counselling
There may have been a lack of off-world adventures, but the episode makes up for that with its high-octane storyline and visual brutality. From the first chuckle when Rick insisted Morty ‘flicks the pickle’ to his entrance into the counsellor’s office I constantly questioned whether Pickle Rick is a challenger to Tiny Rick.
The answer to that is a resounding yes. In a carefully constructed homage to the Action Movie, Pickle Rick escapes counselling and finds himself on an adventure of epic proportions. You would think that being a pickle might have its limitations, but not for Rick. By the time the second act is truly underway, Rick has pimped out his pickle and is facing off with a villainous group with send ups to film like Die Hard, Leon and even Deep Blue Sea (The shark one, not the Tom Hiddleston’s baring arse with Rachel Weiz one).
It was quite refreshing seeing Rick on his solo adventure, showing the resilience and vulnerability of the character. While his banter with Morty is funny, I certainly enjoined the respite of Morty’s negativity. Rick was able to crack on with his plans, without the moral voice of Morty holding him back.
I did, at one point, think we wouldn’t see Beth, Summer and Morty beyond the pre-title sequence. There was so much time dedicated to Rick early on, it would be forgiven if you forget about the others. However, we do get some time with them and as the session with Susan Sarandon progresses, we see how much Beth respects her father and wishes she felt the same in this emotional time. Her denial of her father’s avoidance is brilliant.
Again, another episode that deals with incredibly complex issues, including mental health. When Rick breaks down the door to be with his family, he has an insightful conversation with the counselor. It that moment, Rick is a lot of us; man of Science and fearful of emotions.